AG Schimel Continues 72-County Tour to Discuss Public Safety in Outagamie and Washington Counties
MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel continued his 72-county statewide tour to meet with local law enforcement and elected officials this week with stops in Outagamie and Washington counties on Friday, February 2.
“It’s important to get out of Madison and engage in person with law enforcement, prosecutors, health services, and victim services professionals,” said Attorney General Schimel. “Today’s multi-disciplinary approaches to public safety, with programs like Treatment Alternatives and Diversion Courts, go beyond throwing somebody in jail, and provides better outcomes for victims, offenders, and the community, often at a lower cost to taxpayers and society.”
“The unwavering commitment that Attorney General Schimel has to public safety was evident today during the Outagamie County Roundtable discussion,” said Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas. “The service providers that attended appreciated the attorney general taking the time to meet with us and lead a substantive conversation on those issues most affecting the residents of Outagamie County. We were able to discuss challenges we are all facing and the things we think can be done to improve the services we provide. He clearly understands the challenges we face and his compassionate support for us and our wellbeing is appreciated.”
“I greatly appreciate Attorney General Schimel coming to Washington County to meet with our local officials,” said Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt. “In person meetings of this nature allow all those involved to understand the challenges and perspectives we each have. The conversation today will help guide and focus all of us, as we provide the services we are each responsible for.
Attorney General Schimel and the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership team is meeting with law enforcement and local officials in every county to discuss public safety concerns specific to each county. The challenges faced by law enforcement leaders and the criminal justice system differ from county to county, even in neighboring communities, making it critical for DOJ to be responsive to public safety needs at the local level. DOJ is local communities’ partner in safety, and these meetings aim to discover what resources and efforts DOJ can provide to make Wisconsin safer and stronger.
DOJ financially supports a number of programs to help public safety officials keep the counties safe.
This year, both counties will receive funding from DOJ to support the counties’ alcohol and drug courts, which provide an alternative to incarceration for those struggling with addiction. Outagamie County will receive more than $178,000 to improve the program, and Washington County will receive nearly $97,000 to begin implementing the program.
The Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group, which includes Outagamie County law enforcement, will receive more than $133,000 this year to help investigate drug distribution crimes in the area. This drug task force has also received more than $255,000 since 2015 to fight heroin and methamphetamine, and funding will be available through 2018. Washington County law enforcement will also receive more than $32,000 to enhance interagency coordination and intelligence sharing targeting gangs, drugs, firearms, and associated criminal investigations; and has received nearly $49,000 to fight heroin and methamphetamine, since 2015.
DOJ also financially supports Outagamie and Washington counties’ crime victim services organizations, ensuring that crime victims are given guidance and counseling as they participate in the criminal justice system. Since 2015, through U.S. DOJ Victims of Crime Act grants, DOJ has distributed nearly $597,000, to victim services providers in Outagamie County, and nearly $344,000 to Friends of Abused Families in Washington County.
In 2017, DOJ announced that the Sexual Assault Crisis Center – Fox Cities will receive $70,000, through June 2019, to support crisis intervention through advocacy, short-term counseling, and survivors affected by the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.
To see what other counties the Attorney General has visited, and where he will going next, go to: https://www.doj.state.wi.us/ag-roundtable-map